Employee Benefits Sourcing Delivers Savings While Improving Service Levels

SITUATION OVERVIEW A leading global transport company anticipated generating significant cost savings and scale efficiencies as the direct result of a merger. A majority of the cost savings were expected to come from a North America-wide strategic sourcing initiative, within which Employee Benefits was targeted as a key savings area. The company lacked deep domain expertise in sourcing employee benefits – given the potential for significant savings, but also the risk involved in sourcing this category, the company turned to OnDemand Resources to provide a strategic sourcing expert with deep experience sourcing the employee benefits category. Their desire was to deliver savings while maintaining benefits levels, and also transfer category knowledge onto their in-house team for on-going effective category management. OnDemand offered several consultants with the desired background, and the company chose a member of our OnDemand Professional Network to lead and implement the project. SOLUTION OnDemand consultant provided hands-on project leadership for cross-functional teams in understanding and defining requirements and managing the transition throughout the company. He followed a sourcing methodology that included spend analysis and requirements gathering, especially focused on understanding the current benefits levels, market research and sourcing strategy development, and contract negotiation and implementation. The consultant worked closely with internal resources to develop and implement an e-auction process for each product within Employee Benefits category in order to maximize marketplace competition and savings while maintaining – if not improving – each segment of the employee benefit program. RESULTS The results of the process far exceeded our expectations, especially in light of the very short timeframeDirector, Indirect Sourcing As a result of OnDemand consultant’s leadership, the... read more

Over $5MM Savings Through Strategically Sourcing Legal Spend – Case Study

Managing professional services spend is always a challenge – often vendors have deep relationships with key stakeholders within a company that can lead to suboptimal engagement of the right external capabilities and diminished value. To be successful strategic sourcing must use data and a fact-based approach in close collaboration with key internal stakeholders to deliver the optimal results – here is an example of F500 company Legal Sourcing exercise that delivered significant savings for the organization.  SITUATION  The Corporate Legal department had over 200 law+ firms servicing their various corporate needs. Numerous firms were one-time use only, many were engaged for one case only, and others were routinely given new cases due to an existing relationship with the firm or one of its lawyers, and not based on their core capabilities or the best value provided.  The company did not have formalized guidelines or procedures in places to manage legal spend – each law firm was managed individually, or even worse, each case was managed differently. There were no negotiated rates in place for external counsel.  An e-billing system was in place, but was used poorly and often not at all. A new General Counsel joined the Company with one of key goals of applying cost management practices to law firms and external services as part of Company’s overall profitability drive.  He was supported by the Category Lead, Jo Ellen Hatfield, a member of the OnDemand Professional Network. APPROACH    First, to gain an understanding of how firms are selected and assigned a case, Jo Ellen met with Legal team leaders of each practice area to understand their key requirements, and their process for selecting, engagement and... read more

Pandemic Spurs P2P Improvements For Greater Efficiency and Effectiveness

A global Cruise Line company with multiple brands faced with limited resources post-pandemic was looking to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of their P2P processes in preparation for a full return to service.   They hired OnDemand Professional Network member Alvin Wong to help them with two challenges:  1) to analyze, assess root-causes, and help address a backlog of unpaid supplier invoices, and 2) to develop a P2P roadmap to improve the process. SITUATION OVERVIEW During the pandemic, an unintentional backlog of past-due invoices, changes in leadership, and the reduction of resources resulted in an urgent need for help to address issues and establish a “roadmap” to improve the organization’s P2P processes. Although the predominant number of invoices were paid on time, there were hundreds of invoices past due over 60 days, with many over 120 days, the company was at risk of being cut-off by suppliers.  The invoices were not past-due for a lack of company funds, but rather for validation and confirmation by purchasers before payment.  Something was failing in their P2P process and any findings were to be incorporated into a “roadmap” for a recommended P2P modernization plan. APPROACH Working with Finance, Sourcing, Technical Operations, and Supply Chain Procurement, we conducted a series of past-due invoice reviews, stakeholder interviews, and process and system mappings.  Using the findings, we analyzed root-causes of the past-due invoice problems, implemented changes, and identified various opportunities to incorporate into a “roadmap” to improve P2P processes and systems. CRITICAL SUCCESS FACTORS Fact-Based Data-Driven Analysis and Findings:  Commit the time to smartly collect and analyze data first to avoid wasted efforts solutioning the wrong... read more

Cost Reduction Through Near Shore Manufacturing Optimization and Low Cost Country Sourcing

A major consumer products US company aimed to significantly reduce COGS through their OPEX manufacturing strategic plan.  The company understood that in order to significantly reduce COGS, they needed to diversify their manufacturing footprint and simultaneously optimize the Product Portfolio, and Low-Cost Procurement and Low-Cost Manufacturing Practices. SITUATION OVERVIEW The company had a number of plants across different regions in the US but no international plants.  The current manufacturing footprint could not sustain the market pressure caused by the lower prices of competitors with plants in Asia and Latin America despite all the cost reduction efforts.  Driven by the new aggressive cost reduction mandate Senior Management decided to start up a manufacturing plant in Mexico to take advantage of the low-cost manufacturing labor in the country as a key strategic initiative to reduce COGS and improve EBITDA. The company hired OnDemand Professional Network member Juan-Luis Munoz as the VP/GM of International Operations to lead this strategic endeavor. APPROACH The team first performed an assessment of the OPEX Current State, Product Portfolio, Manufacturing Network, OTC Lead Times (Order-To-Cash) and top spending accounts. The company graded poorly along several high-level OPEX critical elements:  Fragmented and isolated improvement effortsLack of manufacturing standardization and best practice deployment systemPeople engagement, motivation and empowermentStructural misalignmentUnstandardized KPI measurement and reportingBusiness macro flows not properly connectedObsolete manufacturing methodologies Understanding the current state was crucial in planning a successful manufacturing plant in another country.  Among other things, the team uncovered significant manufacturing practices being conducted with the use of “tribal knowledge” only. When some level of standardization of processes was found, this was executed by multiple individuals in different... read more

Procurement Approach To Sole-Source Vendor In Monopolistic Market

One of the largest biotechnology companies in the world needed to quickly develop a strategic supply agreement with a sole-source supplier before impending contract expiration. With no existing category manager or in-house expertise, and little time for execution, they were looking for a specialist who could identify opportunities for value, develop the sourcing strategy, and help them implement a long-term supply agreement that would lock in the value. They turned to OnDemand Professional Network member Art Brunton. CHALLENGE The sole-source nature of secondary data made it nearly impossible for the client to avoid significant annual price increases. They also had little control over the assurance of supply, quality and service of the data. In addition, all of the industry competitors procured the same data sets, so the competition for the supplier’s performance was extraordinary. Proprietary data types – the supplier was sole-source because they owned data technology and supply sources that no other supplier could offer or penetrate. For nearly 30 years, the main barriers to entry for additional suppliers were technology, cost of entry, and access to data sources. There was no potential alternative to the supplier on the horizon either.Data set obsolescence and rationalization – the client did not have a grasp on the data sets they were purchasing on a regular basis versus what was actually needed. Therefore, potential obsolescence and rationalization were not clear.Fragmentation in spend across the client’s organization – the client had numerous groups within its US organization buying other products and services from the supplier. It also had many other business partners globally buying the same secondary data sets. However, consolidation of spend was not occurring... read more

Engage Consultant For Rapid Procurement Transformation and Fast Time To Savings

SITUATION OVERVIEW A newly hired CPO was not going to be able to be fully engaged with his new company, a national transportation equipment and service provider, for several months.  The Company’s leadership had high expectations and had set aggressive savings targets for his first 12 months.  Realizing that it takes time to understand the spend and opportunities, the CPO engaged Chris Lemnah, a long standing member of the OnDemand Professional Network to quickly analyze the spend and conduct the initial opportunity assessment (“OA”). APPROACH Chris kicked off an opportunity assessment consisting of stakeholder interviews, PO & AP spend analysis, and contract reviews.  He also spoke with the existing procurement team members to better understand their current focus, as well as past activities. The information gathered was used to create an OA package that presented the opportunities across 4 workstreams: ControlsKey Customer InitiativesSpend Reduction TeamsTechnology Enablers The Controls workstream focused on getting Procurements involved up front in supplier selection, vendor master additions and maintenance, contract reviews, and requisition approvals. Key Customer Initiatives the team was involved in included enterprise-wide initiatives for Telecom, Benefits, and Oracle. Spend Reduction teams focused on a myriad of projects in various areas identified during the OA and brought to the team by other departments. Chris sourced and implemented multiple technology solutions for the client to help organize and solidify their sourcing and contracting processes. CRITICAL SUCCESS FACTORS Engaging & Aligning Stakeholders – Finance, IT & Operations were all engaged to help understand their impressions of the current procurement team and where they thought procurement could add more value.Data Integrity – despite having relatively few... read more